Morality of Grand Theft Auto(GTA) series

When i was little i used to play GTA:San Andreas alot. I also ploayed Vice City, Gta III,… And recently GTA V was out. I played it for a little and its really cool(I really like games where you can walk freely in a world like San Andreas, i like creating my own storylines). The problem is that i started thinking if Jesus would want me shoot people on the street for no reason(in a game of curse). And i realized that Jesus would not want me to kill people for fun in a game. So i stopped doing that. Now the question is if i can do missions in a game where you rob banks,… and if i can steal cars in a game, which is completely different that killing people on the street. What do you advise me to do? What is your overall opinion of the series?

One of my students came to me this week about this game in particular. He was feeling uncomfortable about playing it and he remembered me saying once that Like you I had played a previous version of this game when I was younger.

He told me there is a mission, which you have no choice to play, where you are required to torture someone. You get to choose the method but you must use torture techniques.

I say to you what I said to him. Do you think this is a fun thing to do?

This is down to something called ‘prudential good judgement’ and what is or is not an uplifting thing to do.

To my eyes, GTA has very few redeeming features. There’s nothing in it, so far as I can tell, that is ordered towards a moral good. It doesn’t mean that it’s morally bad in and of itself (because, for a start, it’s a complete simulation that doesn’t exist) but such things can and do affect the attitudes one has towards the rest of the world. If we are encouraged to treat characters in the game with disdain and cruelty in order to proceed within it, then that is not an uplifting thing to do. I would rather find a game to play with an element of strategy that doesn’t require me to concentrate on actions, however simulated, that are cruel.

Is it a sin to play? I’m not sure - I would tend towards it not being. Is it a wise and healthy subject to immerse oneself in for fun? Undoubtedly not.

I say, get games where you shoot aliens and monsters (or if it only has humans, where that is for the sake of a just-war) :slight_smile:

I don’t believe GTA is a spiritually healthy game to be playing. The danger of pride here is the widespread belief that what we consume for entertainment cannot have a subtle effect on us. While it is removed from reality and only a virtual roleplay, it is encouraging you to tap into your sadistic/uncaring nature and get a thrill out of performing these various acts, and rest assured that there is a potential demon in each and every one of us. Not a demon to possess us, but we ourselves becoming like one. Stick with a more conventional game imo.

I just saw some of the advertisements for this game. Truly decadent. It seems like the narrative is about engaging in moral evils without any second thoughts about what is been done. A very nihilistic view of the world seems to be promoted.

I have to agree that this game is probably not edifying and should be avoided.

I’ve been a gamer for a long time and I’ve played violent video games. Heck, my favorite series of all time is Fallout… Yet at the same time, I was never able to get into the Grand Theft Auto series. Something about it felt wrong.

Don’t get me wrong - I don’t mind a little moral ambiguity when in games, books, or movies. Some of my favorite characters in fiction are anti-heroes with traits I don’t believe are even close to moral - yet there’s always something redeeming about most of them. Yet when I played GTA, I didn’t find any of that. Just a glorification of violence and greed - and it leaves me uncomfortable.

GTA was a blast to play…the fun of walking around doing ridiculous things with quick cheat codes blinds one to the evil it portrays. Is it a sin? Eh, even if not, it is a game designed not to be played with a purpose but to walk around aimlessly and killing people. It glorifies that, and prostitution, and drug dealing. Why bother with it? This is far different from playing COD or Halo.

Or better yet, robot wars, like “Supreme Commander”, my current favorite. I always assume the few humans in charge are merely injured as part of the “collateral damage” in trying to destroy the evil robots. :wink:

My rule of thumb is this: if you spend a lot of time imagining you are hurting, killing or torturing virtual human beings, those thoughts may fade, but, they are still there. I mean, who wants to play “Let’s pretend to torture Bob!” The whole GTA series focuses on brutality.

There 's a big difference between fighting off the marauding aliens in defense and it can get a little intense, as opposed to killing a person by stealing their car and driving over their body or using torture. This is the opposite of fun in fiction. Watching even computer generated torture is not on my “fun” list. So, too graphic, too brutal and unjustified (no self-defense, just getting a thrill out of being a vicious, cold-blooded human being).

Peace,
Ed

That works.

Peace,
Ed

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